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5 cool facts about summer’s favourite treat… ice cream!


Photo by Pedro Moura Pinheiro licensed CC BY-NC-SA 

What’s your favourite summer treat?
If you said ice cream, you wouldn’t be alone.

Historians say that even Alexander the Great, of Ancient Greece, liked to eat snow flavoured with honey and nectar — and that was over 2,300 years ago! The recipe has changed a bit since then, but whether you like just plain vanilla or you’re nuts for rocky road, people around the world still love ice cream. Read on for some cool ice cream facts.

What do ice cream and balloons have in common?

little boy behind balloons


The answer is: they’re both full of air! All ice creams are made from basically the same ingredients: milk (or cream), sugar and air. Yup, air is a main ingredient! The ice cream you get from the store is whipped (or churned, as the ice-cream making pros say) really fast, which adds air and keeps crunchy ice crystals from forming. It makes ice cream… well, creamy!

What’s the difference between ice cream, gelato, sorbet & sherbet anyway?

trays of gelato behid glass

Gelato (Pixabay)

Ice cream generally has a high percentage of milk fat in it (so, that’s more cream and less milk). Although gelato means ice cream in Italian, it’s churned much more slowly, which gives it less air and it also contains less milk fat. And in case you were wondering, sorbet doesn’t contain any milk or cream — just fruit and sugar, while sherbet is just sorbet with a teeny tiny bit of milk added. But there’s one thing they all have in common — they’re all yummy!

We’re number… six?

stack of yummy ice cream sandwiches

Photo by Sweet Flour Bake Shop licensed CC BY 2.0 

It’s hard to believe, but Canada doesn’t rank in the top five ice-cream eating countries in the world. The top eaters are: New Zealand, USA, Australia, Finland and Sweden. As of right now, Canada ranks number six. We need to get to work — let's all scream for ice cream!!!

To cone or not to cone?

three waffle cones with ice cream

Ice cream and waffle cones (Pixabay)

Ice cream cones were invented in 1904 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. A man selling zalabis (a type of waffle) was working beside a man selling ice cream. The man selling the ice cream ran out of dishes, and the waffle-maker rolled up one of his treats and suggested putting the ice cream inside. What a great idea! By the way, it takes about 50 licks to finish a single scoop ice cream cone — count it out the next time you eat one!

Do wizards like ice cream?

A Mr. Whippy ice cream truck

Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) has a Mr. Whippy ice cream truck very much like this one. He's an ice cream wizard! (Photo by Chris Sampson licensed CC BY 2.0)

The answer is yes, and here’s proof. Rupert Grint, the actor who plays Harry Potter’s best pal Ron Weasley in the movies, actually owns his own ice cream truck! So you may want to have your autograph book handy the next time you're in the United Kingdom and the ice cream truck rolls down the street, because you never know… And, by the way, how cool would it be to own your own ice cream truck?